Rhube’s Music for the Apocalypse, No. 5: Don’t Fear the Reaper, by Blue Öyster Cult

This one is an apocalypse classic. Whilst not strictly mentioning the end of the world, the spirit of racing against death, laughing in the face of death, is strong with this one. It is perfectly suited to the idea of living life to the full in a dying world, its minor key and memorable uneasy riffs conveying the sense of bitter sweet abandon – fear and rush.

Which is no doubt why it was chosen for the opening of the cult classic mini-series adaptation of Stpehen King‘s The Stand. After a deadly super-flu, Captain Tripps, is accidentally released from a top secret research facility, ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ plays as we scan over the bodies of scientists, children, and guards, and we know: the race against death has begun.

I was a teenager when I first heard that song whilst watching these opening titles. I had recently read Stephen King’s The Dark Tower* and was on a real King fix. And the apocalypse? That had always been my bag, but not least for a lonely girl who wished, as many a lonely girl had before her, that the rest of the world might just be swept away. A mercurial mix.

I still get chills listening to this. It makes you want to be the one who doesn’t fear the Reaper, who takes someone’s hand and runs away to live in the moment whilst the rest of the world goes to hell.

Don’t fear the Reaper, dear readers. Listen to his music instead.

‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ is by Blue Öyster Cult, and it’s available for download from Amazon and from iTunes.

Listen to the full apocalyptic playlist on YouTube – new songs added every Tuesday luntime (ish).

*The first three novels of, that is. They were all that existed at the time.

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